My screen resolution is 2560x1440 and I am using fractional scaling at 125%.

Steam fonts are unreadable (see the screenshot and compare with the size of the Chrome icon).

enter image description here

  • 1
    Mine is 5120x1440 with the same issue, and the answers here helped.
    – Marius
    Oct 17 '21 at 15:14

If you want to start steam with scaled UI from launchpad, you can set GDK_SCALE=2 (as mentioned in the accepted solution) in steam.desktop file (in my case it is located in /usr/share/applications).

First, open the file in your favourite text editor (e.g. gedit). You might need superuser privileges:

gedit /usr/share/applications/steam.desktop

Then change the Exec entry value to:

Exec=sh -c 'GDK_SCALE=2 /usr/games/steam %U'

Note: your steam path can be different to mine (/usr/games/steam). Just use the path from your Exec entry.


Find the bin_steam.sh:

$ which steam
// >> /usr/bin/steam
$ ls -la /usr/bin/steam
// >> lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 25 Jul 29  2020 /usr/bin/steam -> ../lib/steam/bin_steam.sh
$ ls -la /usr/lib/steam/bin_steam.sh
// >> -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 5946 Jun 21 14:26 /usr/lib/steam/bin_steam.sh

Edit bin_steam.sh:

$ sudo gedit /usr/lib/steam/bin_steam.sh

Add at the beginning export GDK_SCALE=2:

File changes

Run Steam as usual and see the changes ;)

  • It's not a good idea to edit system or package files. Changes will gone when the package is upgraded. In this case, it's better to add that code in ~/.bashrc for example.
    – Dan
    Jun 21 '21 at 19:47
  • Even the comments above suggest to edit the file /usr/share/applications/steam.desktop that is, at least in my case, a symbol link to /usr/lib/steam/steam.desktop that technically leads to changes of the same system or package files. Jun 22 '21 at 20:56

If you start Steam from a terminal with the command GDK_SCALE=2 steam it seems to work.

I found the answer on a Manjaro help page.

  • 2
    it's too big now :)
    – daGo
    May 1 '21 at 12:02

I had the same issue with Steam and Spotify. Changed the fractional scaling back to 100% from 125% and the fonts went back to being readable.

  • Thanks for the tip, but then I would lose a lot of screen estate :) Apr 25 '20 at 10:06

Start steam client adding parameters -w 1368 -h 768 or whatever size you want, always smaller than your monitor resolution. The smaller value, the bigger overall size of steam client, including fonts.

You may add parameters to your Windows shortcut, it works in Linux shortcuts too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.